The first day of slavery dawns too early and too hot for Kindrok
, and Haaku Uaari
. After quickly getting to the water trough and filling their water skins they go out to work. The day is long and hard and painful and that evening they meet with Thraan and Zar
at the tent to discuss possible plans to escape the slave pens.
suggests leading a revolt. Quistine sighs loudly and explains that getting slaves to revolt isn’t necessarily as easy as you might think. She insists that a better plan is to maneuver herself into a position of strength where she can distract the guards while the others escape. Thraan dismisses the halfling and continues on with his plan. The trick is to figure out what the slaves want. There are far more slaves coming in every day, and with rations decreased they are sure to be getting restless. Zar tells the group that there’s water in the mud-mixing area, and maybe they can get a large enough number to abandon work for the possibility of water. In the confusion, perhaps they can slip away unnoticed. Quistine is still irritated and crafts herself a rude sling and begins collecting rocks while the others get some much needed rest.
The next day the water runs out before every slave can get their daily ration. At lunch there is a great deal of grumbling and Thraan seizes his opportunity to encourage revolt. Zar yells to the masses that there’s water at the mixing area, and a sizable group begins milling around.
“This way!” Shouts Thraan, and much to his dismay finds himself the leader of a large group of thirsty slaves.
Quistine takes this opportunity to sneak away from the masses to a potential weak spot and with an expertly balanced leap and clamber settles herself on a birdlike perch atop a building on the outskirts of the pens, and watches the action from a safe distance.
Thraan leads the slaves to the mud-mixing area where there is, indeed, a trough of dirty nasty water used to make mortar for the bricks for the Ziggurat. The slaves are less than enthused, so Haaku steps up to the trough and takes a small drink.
“It’s…good!” He tells them with only a bit of a quiver behind his voice. As the guards begin to close in the slaves have fallen on the trough with vigor, but begin to balk as the guards move closer, though with less force than might be typically expected. Thraan encourages the slaves to fight: “There’s more of us than them, we can win!” he shouts, with lackluster response. One large group of slaves saunters back towards the work area, picking the grit from the water out of their teeth. A smaller group bands together around Thraan and Zar and prepares for battle. Haaku and Kindrock try to slip away in the direction of Quistine, and Quistine sets her sights on some guards coming up from the work area and lets some stones fly. While she manages to avoid being seen, she does call attention to her position, and Kindrock is stuck fighting with guards while Haaku desperately tries to help any and everyone being hurt.
Zar tries to slip away in another direction but encounters a less than happy guard. He plays a fairly impressive trick on the guard and makes the guard believe that there’s a huge army chasing him and the the guard begins to flee. A second guard, unfortunately, was already on his way to aid the first, and Zar is engaged with this second guard for some time.
Thraan, meanwhile, is beginning a slave revolt, less than successfully. As he tries to rally the slaves around him there is a strong voice from behind the fleeing slaves:
“In Kalak’s name restrain this creature!”
And Thraan is in the dreaded Eldritch cage.
At hearing the dreaded words Quistine hops from rooftop to rooftop, down onto the ground narrowly missing the brambles designed to allay escape, and takes off at a dead run. Kindrock, likewise, heads for the brambles with Haaku close behind him.
Zar is still fighting with the second guard as Thraan, in pain and immobilized is driven to desperation and defiles the water for one last attempt at survival.
Haaku has a trembling terrible feeling. The water in the trough is screaming and dying in agony. Haaku, normally mild-mannered and kind, turns and roars “DEFILER!” and begins to move to Thraan in rage. Quistine, headed for freedom, hears Haaku’s cry and after a split second of debate, turns back towards the slave pens and the evil that is defiling. The eldritch cage overcomes Thraan, and he collapses in a heap. Kindrock is engaged with both a guard and some brambles, but has escape still in sight. Haaku, seeing that Thraan’s fate is sealed, turns and runs full speed for Kindrock and possible freedom. He sees Quistine running back and shakes his head, telling her to get away. She smiles, turns, and flees from the pens.